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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A medical practice or practice of medicine is the practice of medicine, as performed by a medical practitioner—a physician (medical doctor). Typically, practicing medicine involves giving a diagnosis, prescribing a treatment for medical condition.[1]

In developed countries, only qualified persons—those with the appropriate licensure, certification, or registration with a relevant body, often governmental—are legally permitted to practice medicine. Such licensure usually requires a medical degree, such as the Doctor of Medicine. Use of terms and titles such as "Medical Practitioner," and the representations of oneself as a medical doctor, is often protected by the law. For example, in the United States, unauthorized practice of medicine, like unauthorized practice of law, is a crime.

The term medical practitioner implies the ability to practice medicine independently of supervision. The term health care professional (or health care provider), by contrast, is a much broader term including professionals who practice independently under an alternate profession or who practice medicine under the supervision of a medical doctor, such as nurses and physician assistants.

Often certain privileges are granted only to medical practitioners. For example, in the United Kingdom, the General Medical Council (GMC) is legally obliged to maintain a Principal List of Registered Medical Practitioners, and only Registered Medical Practitioners have the authority to sign death certificates, cremation forms, do not resuscitate orders and drug prescriptions. The medical practitioner is the person who is ultimately responsible for care of the patient.

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